Customer-Centricity in Consumer Electronics: VoC Interview with Ron Jacobs, Philips Brand Licensing product professional

Published on — Written by Wonderflow

Ron Jacobs Philips Brand Licensing

As part of our Voice of the Customer (VoC) interview series, Stefano Pecorari, Client Success Director at Wonderflow, welcomes Ron Jacobs, Brand Licensing product professional at Philips.

Philips is a Dutch multinational founded in 1891 as a lighting company and later expanded to medical equipment, consumer electronics, and domestic appliances. The company is headquartered in Eindhoven. Later, it moved to Amsterdam in 1997.

Nowadays, Philips is focused mainly on the health tech continuum. Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of its consumers through meaningful innovation. Philips Brand Licensing is a division of Philips that aims to accelerate the process of brand building by giving brand licensed partners access to its collection of recognized brands and faster time-to-market.

Ron has been with the global market leader for over 20 years, has worked in the Brand Licensing division for nearly a decade, and worked for the TV business before that. Ron is also a current member of Philips IP&S Netherlands works council, plus a background in electrical engineering. 

We’re grateful to share Ron’s unique insights to help other industry leaders understand how businesses like Philips continuously thrive in an ever-changing world while ensuring a superior customer experience. 

Read on to learn more!

Stefano: Ron, it’s a sincere pleasure to have you here! Thank you for taking part in this interview that sheds light on the value of the customer experience. First, what’s Philips’ take on data and advanced technologies like AI in the age of digital transformation?  

Ron: Within Philips, we believe that data is the future. It will be possible to predict diseases in patients when analyzing data collected from many other ‘comparable’ persons, for instance.

Within Brand Licensing (BL), my team’s information about licensed products becomes increasingly important because the number of brand licenses is growing, and so is the number of brand licensed products. It is not possible anymore to process all that information just by hand.

Stefano: Why did your organization want to understand its customers better? Was it related to a specific event or decision?

Ron: From a BL perspective: the amount of available data is increasing. We need to know how the brand licensed products perform in the market to prevent brand damage, and better-reviewed products usually mean higher sales.

Stefano: Can you describe your challenges transforming Philips into a more customer-centric company? 

Ron: In the past, with fewer partners and products, we could just manually process some of the information about our products available online. Times have changed. We need a tool that not only collects the data but also analyzes it and even proposes possible product improvements automatically to spend our time better.

Stefano: How has your working style changed over the years? After you began prioritizing customer feedback analysis at your company, what changed, for instance? Can you give us any examples? 

Ron: From just reading available reviews online and feedback to our brand license partners to giving the partners direct access to the analytics to drive product improvement quicker themselves.

Stefano: What are some barriers for companies to improve on while using consumer insights?

Ron: To translate customer feedback into actionable things. Consumer care is still too much focused on helping people answer product questions and repairing defective products. At the same time, we believe that this knowledge is better used to improve the next generation of products. 

Stefano: How have your insights helped to align different agendas between brands and their retailers?

Ron: The insight that more, and especially better-reviewed, products really drive sales!

Stefano: Can you give an example of when you believe your company made a mistake when handling customer feedback?

Ron: Customers writing feedback might want to be heard. Ignoring that and just taking the feedback for granted can sometimes leave a customer even more unhappy. You’ll need to close the loop.

Stefano: What is your vision for the future of consumer feedback at Philips? What is your next idea/future/invention to become more customer-centric?

Ron: We are still in an early phase. In the end situation, we would like our brand license partners to have access to the data analysis, take action on product improvement and just report the results to us instead of us steering the license partners.

Stefano: How do you envision COVID-19 (permanently) changing how we interact with our customers and their preferences and expectations? 

Ron: As online sales boomed, the opportunity for online ratings and reviews grew and will never return to the level before COVID. So we need to embrace online R&R as there are fewer sales in real shops, which is where we could consult the salespeople on the consumer experience.

Stefano: Can you share a specific example of how your teams are currently leveraging the Wonderboard data?

Ron: We are still not in an end state. So currently, the most used feature is the current rating and the rating trend. The desired end state would be that the Wonderboard improvement recommendations are taken into the product improvement processes at our brand license partners without any effort from our end.


Stefano: Thank you, Ron, for your time! We hope this shows many industry leaders out there the importance of customer feedback and leveraging the right data to tackle the right problems. Good luck with your team and talk with you soon!

About Wonderflow

Wonderflow empowers businesses with quick and impactful decision-making because it helps automate and deliver in-depth consumer and competitor insights. All within one place, results are simplified for professionals across any high-UGC organization, and department to access, understand, and share easily. Compared to hiring more analysts, Wonderflow’s AI eliminates the need for human-led setup and analysis, resulting in thousands of structured and unstructured reviews analyzed within a matter of weeks and with up to 50% or more accurate data. The system sources relevant private and public consumer feedback from over 200 channels, including emails, forums, call center logs, chat rooms, social media, and e-commerce. What’s most unique is that its AI is the first ever to help recommend personalized business actions and predict the impact of those actions on key outcomes. Wonderflow is leveraged by high-grade customers like Philips, DHL, Beko, Lavazza, Colgate-Palmolive, GSK, Delonghi, and more.

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